Monday, 31 March 2014

Meal Planning Monday

So from here on in I will be posting our Meals that I am planning on for the week. This is for a couple of reasons. The first being so that I can shop accordingly and reduce my food bill and the second is that if I don't do this I always spend ages every day trying to decide. It's a complete waste of time.

Most days we eat the same but on the odd day the boys have something different as they've been at preschool in the mornings and are tired and grumpy when they get in. Always easier to go with something failsafe for them!

So Here's this weeks.


Boys - Omelette and Beans
Us - Chilli con carne and rice


Homemade Pizza with chosen toppings-the boys are desperate to make the dough!


Red Thai beef and aubergine curry in the slow cooker


Jacket Potatoes and help yourself fillings


Boys - Cereal
Us:- Steak


Homemade chicken curry


Roast leg of Lamb (I have this in the freezer)

I'm also planning on a bit of baking, maybe some muffins and flapjacks but haven't decided yet.

What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I'm just me.

For some reason, I have an in built self destruct mode. Or that's what it feels like at times. I'm sure I posted a while back about some stomach problems I was having, luckily it got better. Until tonight. Tonight I've spent 4 hours in crippling agony because I was trying to be somebody I'm really not.

Sound extreme? More like stupid. Enter the world of Instagram. I love Instagram, it's my favourite social media platform but it's also damaging. People constantly sharing their amazing days, crafts and dinners. This is what I love about it. Until I seem to get drawn into the world of Vegan/Vegetarian/Raw/80/10/10 diet accounts. I'm not sure how it happens, a repost here and there of someones food that looks amazingly bright and happy and nourishing. Before I know it I've added another 400 accounts to follow for 'inspiration'. Inspiration for what?! I buy a few more cookbooks that I'll never use because it's not really my way of eating to then either keep them on the shelf with the others or send back to Amazon.

This brings me to tonight. I've been meal prepping foods today that I wouldn't normally eat ready for my week of trying to eat vegan/vegetarian this week. I have no idea what must go through my head at times. Maybe I think it's healthier or more virtuous. For my tea tonight I made raw courgette 'spaghetti' with an avocado dressing. I couldn't finish it as it was far too sickly for me. I struggled eating it. An hour later it really didn't agree with me. It wasn't nourishing me from the inside out and I was starving.

I went to bed at 9:30 as I was in so much pain but I'm still awake 2 hours later because I need to cleanse this part of me and delete these accounts from my Instagram before I can settle.

If I'm honest with myself, whenever this happens to me (a couple of times a year) other areas of my life suffer. I'm always looking to be the best mum and wife I can be but when I get sucked in to other lifestyles it's all consuming. It stops. Tonight.

I love home cooked food, cakes and biscuits. I love baking with my boys and whats more, they love doing it. All of this stops when I go down this route.

Tonight I'm making the first step towards self acceptance. I'm just me.

Friday, 21 March 2014

A boost in Homeschool confidence.

One of the reasons I don't tend to blog very much is that some days I don't feel we've done very much. I worry a lot about our homeschooling and that I'll let the boys (and soon to be girl) down. I seem to completely lack confidence.

Kenny is amazingly supportive but the best piece of advice that he has given me is to look at the boys and see how they're doing. When I do that I feel proud. Ethan at just 2.5 years is an amazing character, has a vocabulary of a 3.5 year old and is just beautifully inquisitive.

He is amazed and intrigued by the world around him and truly embraces the whole 'Montessori' way. He's also extremely cheeky and learnt No at a very early age!

Nathan is reading, he's picking up new sight words like it's going out of fashion and his writing is greatly improved from where we started just 8 weeks ago. He is showing a love of reading and happily goes and gets a book, or starts to read to himself. He's also starting to decode and words and signs when we are out and about. His basic addition is amazing, he can count to 100 with ease and is happy to work with number. He also has a phenomenal imagination and although I get frustrated with his obsession of Lego Chima I'm also amazed at how he deconstructs the kits to rebuild his vision.

I posted on my Facebook page today some of our homeschooling pictures. I did this with trepidation as not everyone knows/agrees with us doing this. I decided that the people that felt this way aren't actually involved in our lives at all, they're just people I went to school with. Well what can I say, I had an amazing amount of positive feedback and was genuinely touched.

Did this show me that I'm doing a good job? No my boys do that daily. It did however give me a confidence boost and with the constant tiredness that I'm feeling and the weariness that haunts my body I think that is all that I needed.

Here are a few pictures of our homeschooling life :-)

Have a great day.

Lisa x

Saturday, 8 March 2014

We have a reader!

We started our Homeschool schedule the second week in January. I remember at the time thinking maybe it was too early or maybe they (Nathan more so) should just play all day. The problem that I was seeing with this is that he soon became bored and restless with playing. It was as though he needed something to focus on.

If I'm honest I also had in the back of me mind that we needed to get some sort of structure in our lives as come June we will have our baby girl joining us. With this in the back of my mind it made sense to try to install a routine now rather than when I also have a new baby. There was also the fact that Nathan turns 5 in August and legally would be required to start school come September.

There are many different ways that people homeschool which opens up a wealth of opportunity but can also bog you down with too much information. I struggled with this in the beginning and was pulled from place to place but I decided I needed to be true to myself, a creature of routine and habit. Therefore what I decided to trial was a set time in the morning where we would concentrate of reading, writing and maths. For me personally, as long as these are covered in a structured way all other aspects can be interest led and more flexible. I also add in the Montessori approach for other aspects of our day which I love.

Back in January we started with this and some days we worked for 20 minutes, yesterday was an hour and a half as Nathan was enjoying it so much. We've worked on sight words introducing a couple of new ones a week and CVC word blends and I wasn't sure that he was picking these up. The sight words he manages with very well as long as we take it slowly and don't introduce too many at any one time.

5 days ago he asked if he could read a story at bedtime and we agreed he could so he went off and got a book titled 'Toms mad mop' It's utter rubbish and we were given it from bookstart I think. Nonetheless he worked through it and although it was full of words he'd never seen he managed to sound the letters out and blend them by himself. He read the book again the following day and then I got out some of our beginner reader books. We have the BOB books, Biff and Chip and also the Big Cat books. Nathan chose a Bob book and read it no problem. He brought another one down yesterday and said I'm going to read 'The Vet' now and he sat and read that to me. When I looked at the cover to make a note of which book it was in the set it was book 12. The hardest one.

What I find amazing is his ease of blending, adapting and trying. Rightly or wrongly it's very important for me that our children can read and I'm hoping they will enjoy it. Nathan seems to be loving it and I love seeing how he evolves and comes along each day.

To say I'm proud would be an understatement!